Sunday, June 15, 2014

The End of the School Year and Happy Father's Day!

This week has been a wonderful week to start our summer out. First off we have our very first official lifeguard in the Reed Family. We are so proud of M. Not only did she go and stay at her aunt's house in the city for a week without us, she passed her lifeguard test. Now she can work for our local Y for the summer and finally earn some money that she will faithfully start saving for college.  I will say even though she was gone for a week we missed her very much. I am not looking forward to the day she moves away.  I definitely don't feel ready for that, but its going to come whether I like it or not.  So , yes, I am a mother to a lifeguard.  I can't wait for that first picture too.
                                  Marilyn packed up and ready to go for lifeguard class 
While Marilyn was gone we finished up the rest of our school year. We were so glad to be done. This year we had thought going the cyber school route would make life easier for us since Maggie had to have surgery in September. Sadly, it made it far more stressful.  We felt trapped this year, like prisoners in our home because we were beholden to the computer schedules for their classes. The first child started at 8 am for classes and we would go down the chain , with the next child at 9 am , and the next at 10 am and school would not end until 3. That did not include the home work and so most days school did not end until after 5 pm or even later some days. This is how I felt about our year: 
  Mare:   was bogged down with so much work there was just no time for extra stuff and the very little extra stuff she did have, like band felt more like work to her than something to be enjoyed because she had so much home work to do for the classes.   Mare's math teacher was 100% awful as in most everything she learned in class we had to turn around and relearn somewhere else because she taught over their heads and never did any practice with the kids in the class. It was a total joke.   She barely passed the class. I was not happy because it truly was the first time she's done poorly with a math class. 
For Language arts again I was disappointed. No grammar was taught at all. None. It was read, and do a bunch of Power point assignments where some made very little sense at all. Marilyn did a very good job with them but the teacher knit picked everything so much that she lost all want to ever write again. Sigh.  Marilyn did enjoy her Chemistry class, which actually she did very well in and her History were she took a 1960's History class and World Religion that she really enjoyed. 

Katie just didn't do well over all at all period. Whether we tried self paced or online classes the curriculum just didn't make sense to her and to be honest neither to us because her grade level was phasing in Common Core. Or should I say Common Crap?  It was horrible , her math made no sense at all and we all struggled to help her.  The only teacher she liked was her social studies teacher. Her science teacher believed in learning through osmosis pretty much giving them assignments where the work wasn't taught to them in the books or through lecture. 

Hannah did well with virtual class , though I was very disappointed in how the math was being taught. She passed all of her classes but hated it. Hannah is my child that wants to learn and move on. She hated waiting for everyone to finish up on the computer. Some days I found her playing with her Nintendo 3DS or crocheting while waiting. 

Maggie did well but she absolutely hated her work. There was far to much writing for 2nd graders , and was not age appropriate at all.  To me 2nd graders should be learning how to write sentences properly. Not worrying about writing persuasive essays  and 5 page research papers at the end of the school year. The math was so horrible that I had to pull out the Saxon math to finally get her to remember her math facts and actually learn math.  Everything , even the reading , was just boring and we had no time at all to veer off and just learn more if something caught our interest. Which was extremely rare. 

We just found ourselves just wanted to get work done. There was no enjoyment in it at all for us. I know cyber schooling can work for some families. It just did not for us at all.  Not to mention doing this with four children was just very tough. I found myself shifting from helping a 9th grader, then helping the 2nd grader, and helping the 4th grader and then the 7th grader. I was constantly shifting gears, reteaching things that were taught during the day.  Just , not for us.  

                                          Our end of the year school pictures. Yay! 
With all of that said we are just so glad that its summer time. We are spending this summer on doing some lite homeschooling. Meaning remediation in subjects that were totally wasted this summer not learning from , like math , science and writing.  I guess after this, you live and you learn and move on. 

So right now I'm in the process of trying to figure out what we'll be using for this upcoming school year. I'm not 100% sure yet but we do know we'll be using Apologia for science like we always have and Saxon for math. 

So far we've started off this summer on a great start. The weather has been less than great though but its just the start of summer so I'm hoping it will improve.  We've had a lot of rain and I'm hoping my garden doesn't die on me here because of it.  
While Mare was gone we had a few things go on. First, was their end of the year Girl Scout banquet. We had a nice little get together. The group was very small this year so it went very quickly. The girls received their awards and I accepted Mare's. 

After that a few days later we celebrated Hannie's birthday. She is 11 now!  Wow, has time flown by.  My girls are growing up to be such beautiful young ladies, and may I add, crazy funny too. 

Yesterday we had a parade for our festival here where we live. Everyone but Katie was in it this year.  After being gone over a week Mare fell into step in the parade with the flag. She was so happy that they had gotten done one day early as well as I.

Fest parade 2014 

Of course the weather was very cold. I almost had to wonder if it was summer or fall. So they were pretty cold marching especially Maggie. We made sure we dressed her the warmest we could. Hannie, well we're convinced she had no nerve endings because she said she was just fine. 

Last but not least we don't want to forget to say Happy Father's Day to all those dads out there who make life crazy and fun for our children. To all those dads out there that help with homeschooling and are just all around great guys.   To all of you , thank you for all you do to help shape our children into what they will be someday. Along with all the goofiness.